Virginia House candidate Keith Fimian, who is challenging Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly in Northern Virginia, said recently that looser gun laws could have prevented the Virginia Tech shooting, and his campaign is now walking back the comment.
Fimian told a local news anchor during a televised interview that the April 2007 shooting, which claimed the lives of 33 when a gunman opened fire in a classroom building, wouldn't have happened if students were allowed to carry guns into classrooms.
"I think that at Virginia Tech, if one of those kids in one of those classrooms was packing heat, I think that would not have happened," Fimian said when asked about gun control laws, apparently unprompted with any mention of Virginia Tech.
"The perpetrator of that crime would have thought twice before walking into a classroom if he thought there was any chance of someone being armed and preventing him from doing that," Fimian said.
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Fimian's campaign is now walking back the comment. A campaign spokesman told Derek McGinty of Washington, DC's TV station WUSA-9 that the statement about Virginia Tech was an "offhand comment" that "did not...take into account the gravity of the situation," McGinty reported.